The Turbulent 2020 Election

President Trump is in the process of making an already slow and arduous election even more strenuous. Trump is throwing lawsuits at battleground states in an attempt to reverse election results that he perceives as stolen. On November 7, four days after election day, the AP called Pennsylvania for Joe Biden, which guaranteed the presidency for him. Biden has set a record for most votes in U.S. history, with over 80 million, and Kamala Harris will become the first black woman to be vice president of the United States. For the first time in 30 years, the incumbent president will not have a second term. 

President Donald Trump has filed numerous lawsuits against several states, citing voter fraud from mail-in ballots, dead people voting, claiming that computer software glitches switch votes for Trump to Biden and much more. Unsubstantiated claims about mail-in voting, and the like, made by Trump has cast doubt on the election results, and Trump has yet to concede the election. On November 30, Trump tweeted, “not statistically possible. Rigged Election!” Also tweeted on November 29, “NO WAY WE LOST THIS ELECTION!”  Despite voter fraud claims, Biden and his team are allowed to transition. William Barr, the United States attorney general, commented that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.” In spite of this, Trump is calling on his supporters to “stop the steal.” 

Protests by Trump supporters have popped up across the United States, especially in battleground states. Trump supporters chanted “count the votes” in Phoenix as Trump narrowed his lead in Arizona as election week progressed; Pro-Trump protesters also shouted, “stop the steal” in Pennsylvania and Georgia as Biden took the lead. Georgia recounted ballots by hand to confirm Biden’s win in the state, and Trump’s legal team filed several lawsuits that have been thrown out by judges in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia. However, Trump has won minor legal battles in Pennsylvania where local officials had to separate some ballots in case of extensions not being granted. But these wins are unlikely to affect the outcome of the election. Protests were held in Michigan and Wisconsin claiming that there is voter fraud in those states as well. Wisconsin and Michigan conducted recounts, which concluded that Biden won, and both Michigan and Wisconsin certified Biden’s win. Legal battles are ongoing and continuing into December. 

“On both sides, things have been going absolutely nuts in terms of possible voter fraud and intimidation,” said Abby Cook, a junior at Woodson. “There have been votes using dead people names or people who don’t even exist, completely making up votes, to try to get their candidate in,” Cook said. 

Liam Sullivan, also a junior, said,  “he’s in the right to create lawsuits and start trying to check the electoral system, but what I’m mostly concerned about is the fact that his undermining of the system.” Sullivan continues, saying that the lawsuits “undermines the democratic process because it allows his supporters to lose faith in our system of democracy.”

Trump casting doubt on the election isn’t new. In October of 2016, Trump tweeted, “the election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary – but also at many polling places – SAD.” Also, in late October of 2016, Trump said, “I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election if I win.” 

Biden was able to win the election by flipping five key states, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona, which are all being sued by the Trump team. Biden has also garnered around a 7 million vote lead in the popular vote, which is larger than the 2016 election, with 2.8 million votes over Donald Trump. 

Photo courtesy of NPR.org.

The GOP didn’t have a complete bust during election week. The Republicans gained nine seats in the House; however, Democrats still retain control. Runoffs for the Senate in Georgia will take place on January 5, which will decide who takes control of the Senate.

Biden’s message is clear; he wants to “be a president who seeks not to divide but unify,” Biden said during his victory speech. “All those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself,” he continues, saying,  “But now, let’s give each other a chance.”